In a recent conversation the topic of motivation, drive and perseverance came up.  It got me thinking about my why these things are so evident in me and how they influence my life today.  Certainly not framing this in a boastful way, but more out of curiosity as to where these things were created and honed.

I would submit that the basic foundation was created in the crucible of my childhood.  Like they say, adversity is one of the greatest teachers you can have.  That being said, there are so many factors that play a part in developing some of these now innate capabilities it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where each came from.

Growing up in the small country town of my birth, I always felt an outsider…  Never quite good enough, overlooked and underestimated – below the radar if you will, but this also ingrained in me the motivation to succeed and create a life that most people would not have imagined nor expected of me.

Another of life’s lessons that I picked up early was that if you were going to succeed the only person that could make that happen is you, and not to rely on anyone else but yourself.  You, and you alone hold your destiny in your hands.

Nothing can substitute hard work and a bloody minded work ethic in order to push yourself to the limit in the pursuit of success.  Perhaps with all my self talk I just convinced myself that I can do anything and become anything if I worked hard enough at it.  So far, so good!  A little belief and some positive self talk works wonders for your confidence.  🙂

Over the years I’ve also learned to temper my enthusiasm somewhat, to pick my battles more thoughtfully and not always be the “bull in a china shop”, makes for much less stress.  Just sayin…

And now for the most important lesson I’ve learned…you have to just “let go” and not try and control every situation, because if you do, then the situations end up controlling you.

Strangely simple – right?  All I know is that I’ve lived a more balanced, happier and more contented life since I discovered this one simple thing.

Wow…that’s it!  The secret is to “let go”?   Really?

I know it sounds crazy, but if your always defined by driving and pushing then there is no balance in your life, nor any opportunity to take a step back and relax.  Frankly, being “on” all the time is tiring!  🙂

I started small, and decided to begin with trying to let go of the small irritations and frustrations in life – bad drivers for one would drive me to distraction!   Just with this alone I felt more at peace.  Yes, admittedly there were times when I had to take a few deep breaths and repeat my mantra “just let it go”, no matter how much I wanted to lean on the horn and shout my frustration.   Not a pretty sight!

It was a great first step.  The next was to broaden my thinking and realize that life can take you on some incredible and wonderful journey’s if you let it.  Now who doesn’t enjoy a little serendipity in their day to day lives???

Not always being in total control is so liberating!  Who knew???

Allowing others to lead where once I would of been driving forward, and perhaps “hogging the limelight” (yes, I know what you’re thinking!   Most uncharitable by the way!)  Now, feeling much less compelled to always be out in front driving  🙂

Learning to support and coach versus being out front leading the charge is also very empowering. What I realized is that it takes a new level of maturity to be comfortable with this new way of thinking.

Letting go isn’t as simple as it sounds…not by a long shot.

Admittedly there have been times where I still wanted to be out front pushing hard.  However, it’s now by choice versus feeling driven and compelled to do so, which is a welcome change.

Taking away as much stress and negativity from my life has been a huge win unto itself.  Yes, I realize that it was been mostly of my own creation, but this fact alone has helped me on a number of fronts.

Firstly, a good barometer for me has always been my ability to fall asleep easily at night, which has become increasingly easier the more I’ve been cognizant of my “letting go”.  Second, in the past if I was stressed I’d often wake in the middle of the night and then not able to go back to sleep.  Again I’ve seen a huge improvement with this as well, in that now I rarely if ever wake in the night.

I find it amazing that I’m still learning so many life lessons at my age and juncture in life…

Not complaining…just an observation!  🙂

Until next week